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Focusing on what really matters

Barry Choi
Barry Choi
October 25th, 2021
family on vacation

A saying that often gets thrown around is that earning your first million is the hardest. Take a look at your own financial journey and there’s no doubt that you put in hard work and endless hours to find success.

As you likely know, having money gives you access to opportunities that may have been out of reach otherwise. You’ll have more buying power and there will be a ton of people who will want to work with you. Increasing your net worth year over year or getting double-digit returns is achievable, but is that your true objective?

Somewhere along the road, you could end up losing focus. Instead of being motivated by opportunities, you become obsessed with making more money. This obsession can be toxic to your health, ruin relationships with friends and family, and cause many regrets further down the road.

Here are some ways people keep themselves in check and remember what really matters in life.

Focus on your health

It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you don’t focus on your health (physically and mentally), you could set yourself up for failure.

Dwayne Johnson, arguably the greatest action star of the current generation recently opened up about his battle with depression. He talked about how he was crying constantly and didn’t want to do anything.

Find an activity that you enjoy and stick to a routine. Bike to work, go for a swim or play competitive sports. Do whatever makes you feel good and gives you a break from your job.

If you’re depressed or have anxiety, don’t be afraid to open up. It can take some time to realize you have a problem, but once you start talking about it, there can be a huge sense of relief.

Spend time with your family

Back in 2019, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos divorced after 25 years of marriage. Shortly after, Bill and Melinda Gates separated after 27 years of marriage. These were some of the richest couples in the world, so it goes to show that maintaining a healthy relationship takes more than money.

Many experts say that a strong relationship is built on the three C’s: Communication, Compromise and Commitment. It’s easy to keep that in mind, but when you’re focused on making money, you can quickly neglect the ones closest to you.

Talk to your partner (and your kids) about what makes them feel needed and appreciated. Although communication usually refers to what you say, non-verbal actions can also go a long way. Compromising can be difficult if you’re used to getting your way, but in a relationship, it’s about two individual experiences so you need to find common ground. As for commitment, you need to put your relationship first. There will be times where going to work feels easier than spending time with your family, but no one said marriage is easy.

Avoid FOMO

The idea of having any fear of missing out when you’re wealthy may sound ridiculous, but there’s always going to be someone with more money than you. Instead of trying to keep up with appearances, wouldn’t it be nice to just live life without having to worry about what other people think about you?

Take a look at Warren Buffett, he still lives in the same Omaha, Nebraska home that he bought in 1958. Then there’s Mark Cuban, he’s the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, but you’ll often see him in athletic wear instead of expensive suits when he’s not on TV.

There’s nothing wrong with spending your hard-earned money, but saving your money or even being frugal is effortless. You’ve already got the money, there’s no need to show it off.

Do charity work

Giving back can go a long way. There are a lot of people and organizations that need help and any contribution you make can go a long way.

Writing a big fat check will help charities, but how does that help you? The most rewarding part about doing charity work is when you do things hands-on. Giving your time can have a meaningful impact on others and enrich your own life at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you’re sorting food or building homes, find a charity that matters to you.

Find your purpose

The odds are you’ve spent a lot of time building your career and business. Every decision you’ve made has led you to where you are now, but have you found your purpose?

Robin Sharma, one of the top leadership experts in the world wrote The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which focuses on the seven virtues required for a life of inner peace and joy. One of his key ideas is to find your purpose and follow it. The problem is, you won’t know you’re on the right path until you find your purpose. The idea is, your destination is your purpose.

Once you’ve figured out your goals or purpose, write them down. Sharma believes that an unwritten goal is not an actual goal. Set a timeline for your new goal and stick with it for at least 21 days. Creating this positive pressure on yourself can inspire you to do better.

The bottom line

Take a step back and examine your life. The decisions you make can have a lasting impact on you and the people around you. If you streamline the process of managing your wealth, you can make smarter personal choices. Focus on the person you want to be.